There were no gold medals this year, but teams from Cloverdale did well at their respective provincial championships.
Cloverdale’s U18 A2 team won a silver medal in South Delta at the Tier 2 provincials, Brien Gemmel’s U18 A1 squad won a bronze medal in Salmon Arm at the Tier 1 provincials, and Cloverdale’s U13 A1 team battled hard as hosts of the U13 Tier 1 provincials.
Jon Silcox, the head coach for the U18 A2 Colts, said he was really proud of his team’s silver medal win and what his squad accomplished over a challenging season.
“It was a helluva run, but South Delta (U18 A1) is a quality hockey club,” said Silcox. “We knew it was a David and Goliath story, but unfortunately we didn’t get a Cinderella ending.”
The Colts opened and closed the tournament against South Delta. Thye lost 3-1 in the opening game and 4-0 in the gold medal final. In between they won every game: 2-1 over Trail, 6-2 over Fort St. John, 7-1 over Williams Lake, and 3-1 over Sea To Sky (A1). It was the eighth time this season the Colts played Sea To Sky, edging them 5-3 in their season “series.” Sea To Sky was first in the other pool and Cloverdale advanced to the Gold medal game with that final win against them.
“Hockey stories write themselves,” Silcox explained. “We faced them one last time in the semi-finals of the provincial championships, the biggest stage we could ask for, and we came out with a 3-1 win.”
Going into the final tournament, Silcox was happy to have his whole team back for the championships. He said the team suffered a spate of multiple injuries this year, including two incidents that were so serious, ambulances were called to the arenas.
“We’re a tight family,” Silcox noted. “We battled adversity all year. It was a wild season. We had a lot of injuries throughout the year. We brought in call-ups throughout. The amount of man-games lost was pretty high. But we had all our guys with us to end the season, everybody was healthy, and our emotions were great heading into the (provincial) tournament.”
He said the season was an emotional roller coaster, but a very successful one for his team. The U18 A2 Colts played 62 games, going 37-20-4-1.
In their final 19 games of the season, including tournaments, playoffs, and provincials, the Colts were 15-4. One of those losses was to Sea To Sky and the other three were to the South Delta A1 team.
“We were trying to do something even our A1 team couldn’t do,” explained Silcox. “Our A1 team played in the same flight (division) as them all year and were winless in three attempts against them as well.”
Silcox added he has profound respect for the South Delta players, their program, and the coaching staff.
“South Delta were great hosts too,” Silcox added. “It was well run. The officiating was good. (Their hosting) was all you could ask for in a provincial final.”
Silcox said it’s not common or an A2 team to make provincials because provincials, unlike a team’s flight (division) is based on a hockey association’s size: tier 1, 2, 3, or 4. So even though both Cloverdale A1 and South Delta A1 played in the same flight, Cloverdale A1 goes to Tier 1 provincials, South Delta A1 goes to Tier 2 provincials, and Cloverdale A2 goes to Tier 2 provincials.
“To come out of provincials and be second in the province out of Tier 2, I couldn’t have asked for anything better from this group,” Silcox said. “I couldn’t be more proud of the boys. They battled hard everyday and they dealt with a lot of adversity.
“And they had to deal with me as a coach,” he added with a laugh. “That’s not necessarily an easy task.”
The 2022-2023 Cloverdale Colts U18 A2, provincial Tier 2 silver medalists:
Forwards: Ryder Armitage, Ian Burns, Julius Frick, Ashton Gilray, Jordan Taylor-Kidd, Aidan Knutsen, Nolan Mccallum, Layne Myer, Matthew Shehyn, Luca Sjoberg, John Suria, and Josh Weir.
Defense: Liam Hanberg, Breyen Basigin, Dhavin Dhillon, Sawyer Laven, and Jason Correia.
Goalies: Koen St. Hilaire and Zarek Purewal.
Staff: head coach Jon Silcox; assistants Mark Fraser, Will Pedersen, and Brad Ewing; trainer Dave Burns and manager Nikki Knutsen.
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